Take a deep breath. I am starting (again) to have anxiety episodes a lot because of the impending letters I will be writing and sending this week. I know that some people would not recommend me telling my family of my disaffection in a letter, that in person or even on the phone is better, but I feel it is better for everyone involved if I don't. I decided early on that I would send them letters so they could have whatever freak-out session they wanted without having to worry about how their ranting and raving would affect what little testimony they hope I might have. And I will be able to thoughtfully write out what I want to say and not stumble over my words and just cry for 20 minutes before I say, "I no longer believe the church to be True."
My older sister called last week and mentioned how everyone was asking about me at my Grandma's Birthday dinner and that she told everyone she thinks I'm doing ok, but she hasn't talked to me much (I admit I have been avoiding them for the precise reason I am about to share). *She asked me if I have a calling at church, if things with Gluby are uncomfortable when we get home from church, if the boys like church, if I have been much lately. She noticed I was reticent to answer her questions and asked me if it was difficult to talk about because Gluby was nearby or if it was uncomfortable for me to talk about it right now. I said yes. And then she said that everyone is concerned for me because I don't talk about my church callings, or church at all, or my spiritual experiences anymore (we would talk about these things in 90% of our conversations, really) and they are worried about me. You know, "if you aren't progressing and striving to move forward than you are sliding backward" and "we are just worried that you aren't progressing. We want our sister to be in the mansions of heaven with us someday."
M picked that time to start screaming because S was doing something he didn't like. I set the phone down after helping the boys, walked into the office and started crying on Gluby.
And a few days before this took place I was talking to my younger sister on the phone when this pleasant conversation occurred.
*"J (her 3 1/2 yr old son) was telling me how S (my oldest ) is in his primary class and I told him that S is not in his class because he lives in another state. So J asks me if S would be in his primary class if he lived here and I said no because he is older. So then he asks me what primary class S is in and I said, 'I don't know.' Do you know which class S is in?"
"Uh, no, I can't remember. The 4-5 year old class."
At this point S asked me about something and when I went back to the phone conversation we started talking about something else, but we both knew we were still thinking about what had just happened. My heart was beating fast until we got off the phone a few minutes later.
All I need now is for my parents to call and say something. So, I am now at the point where I think I feel ready to tell them. It is harder on everyone that the truth is hidden and it will be easier for us to move forward if it comes out. I am waiting for tax season to end so I don't give my parents a heart attack after adding so much emotional distress to their lives. Oy vey.
* these conversations with my sisters are very rare. They normally consist of, "how are you" "what are your kids/spouse up to" "how's the weather" sort of conversations. They are just now getting the nerve to talk to me about these things because (I'm guessing here) they are really starting to worry and figure that I'm just struggling as a single-mother church attender and don't want to talk about my husband's leaving and that they are helping by asking me questions.